Coronavirus: Tributes to 'strong' and 'compassionate' nurses who died with COVID-19

15 April 2020, 14:24

Josiane Zauma Ebonja Ekoli (left) and Ade Raymond (right) both died after contracting coronavirus
Josiane Zauma Ebonja Ekoli (left) and Ade Raymond (right) both died after contracting coronavirus. Picture: PA/Twitter
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Tributes have been made to two nurses who have become the latest NHS workers to die after contracting coronavirus.

Josiane Zauma Ebonja Ekoli, 55, died on Monday at Leeds General Infirmary, where she had been admitted last Tuesday after a week of illness.

The mother of five was originally from Leeds but had been working as an agency nurse at Harrogate District Hospital in North Yorkshire when she got sick.

Her daughter Naomie said her mother wanted to be remembered as "God-fearing, strong, beautiful and caring", and that it had "meant everything to be a nurse" in her 30-year career.

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Josiane Ekoli had been working as an agency nurse in Harrogate when she got ill
Josiane Ekoli had been working as an agency nurse in Harrogate when she got ill. Picture: PA

Speaking about the personal protective equipment provided to frontline workers, Naomie recalled her mother saying the provisions available were "poor".

She added: "If they don't work, then we won't be treated, so the least they could do is up the PPE so they can make sure it doesn't happen to another family."

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In a tribute, Jill Foster, the chief nurse at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said Ms Ekoli was a "much valued" member of staff, and would be "sadly missed".

"Zauma Ekoli, known as Josie, was a much-valued agency nurse who has worked with the Trust for the past two years," Ms Foster said, adding: "She worked a range of shifts in a number of wards and departments.

"Josie will be sadly missed by all her friends and colleagues at Harrogate District Hospital and our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

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Meanwhile, several colleagues of student nurse Ade Raymond paid tribute to their friend on social media after it was confirmed he had died with COVID-19.

Mr Raymond, who was working at Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust in London, was confirmed on Wednesday to have died after contracting the virus.

The chief executive at his Trust, Jinjer Kandola, said Mr Raymond have been a "highly respected" member of the team and had been in the middle of studying for his nursing degree.

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Friend Laura Foley paid tribute to a "very compassionate, intelligent, inspirational gentleman who would have made an amazing nurse," while fellow student Jade said she was "deeply saddened" at the loss of her friend.

Another nurse, Katja Jung, who knew Mr Raymond when she was a student added: "He always wanted to become a nurse. My heart is broken."

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